MORE ANCIENT SOURCES
Josephus, War 4.3.8 (1th cent. A.D.)
(155) Hereupon they sent for one of the pontifical tribes, which is called Eniachim,3 and cast lots which of it should be the high priest. By fortune, the lot so fell as to demonstrate their iniquity after the plainest manner, for it fell upon one whose name was Phannias, the son of Samuel, of the village Aphtha. He was a man not only unworthy of the high priesthood, but that did not well know what the high priesthood was; such a mere rustic was he! (156) Yet did they hale this man, without his own consent, out of the country, as if they were acting a play upon the stage, and adorned him with a counterfeit face; they also put upon him the sacred garments, and upon every occasion instructed him what he was to do. (157) This horrid piece of wickedness was sport and pastime with them, but occasioned the other priests, who at a distance saw their law made a jest of, to shed tears, and sorely lament the dissolution of such a sacred dignity.
Iohannes Rufus, Plerophoriae, 48 (5th cent. A.D.)
Listen now also this wonder, similar to the previous one, which took place at the village of Salton [Gerariticon] called Afta. Beside the village there is the monastery of saint Silvan, the father of the monks. A monk pure, humble, and full of sweetness was living there. His name was Epiphanius. He professed, with all its monastery, the orthodox faith...